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The link between loneliness and early death.

Together by Vivek H Murthy

“When Vivek Murthy accepted the role of Surgeon General under Obama, he thought his main focus would be tackling the opioid crisis and obesity. Instead, he discovered a much larger health crisis, one that connects the sick and the seemingly well: loneliness,” says Allen and Unwin, who have just published … Read more

An art project that touches everything.

An art project that touches everything - work by Tara Naval

Walking through the Lane Cove neighbourhood in Sydney this morning we came upon an art installation by Tara Naval. Called Titles of an Imagination, 2019, it’s a “mixed media- resin, organic materials, glass, bric-a-brac, papercraft” exhibition that sits on a plinth in the public space outside the local library, so … Read more

When the fear of running out of money is greater than the fear of death.

Five Invitations, from Frank Ostaseski's website.

“Some people fear running out of money more than death itself,” said ABC TV’s financial commentator Alan Kohler’s the other night. You can see why. Kohler was making the point because with the Covid-19 led recession, the worst of which is to come, unemployment will rise, the official definition of … Read more

Four Corners looks at Newmarch House.

Nicole Fahey in the ABC's Four Corners.

For those who’ve followed Sydney’s Newmarch House Covid-19 infections, last night’s ABC Four Corners made for compelling viewing. At Newmarch House over a period of 39 days, 34 staff and 37 residents became infected with Covid 19. There were 19 deaths of residents. When we researched Newmarch House intensively for … Read more

Advance care planning and dementia patients.

The ELDAC Legal toolkit

A patient who doesn’t have legal capacity because of dementia, even the early signs of it, can’t sign documents such as wills and the assigning of their power of attorney. But what about their advance care document? Because of the rigidity of the first two, and the fact that advance … Read more

Pharmacists and palliative care.

Pharmacists and palliative care

Pharmacists are key players in the delivery of effective palliative care because they deliver and manage the drugs to help ease symptoms, especially pain. ‘In many ways, they are unseen essential workers, caring for those in need during a critical time.’ said South Australian pharmacist Paul Tait MPS, who is … Read more

There is now a new definition of palliative care

Redefining Palliative Care—A New Consensus-Based Definition

There is now a new definition of palliative care – thanks Caroline Litster for pointing this one out. (Caroline is a researcher at Flinders University and a palliative and supportive services provider with ELDAC.) Caroline shared this item from The Journal of Pain and Symptom Management (JPSM), reported in its … Read more

Choosing the executor of your will.

Ambre Langdown of ACL Law, Sanctuary Cove.

Lawyer Ambre Langdown published a story on her LinkedIn page last week (June 10) that contains practical, up-to-date information about choosing the executor of your will. As Ambre says, people see this as an honour – both those bestowed with the task and those who are doing the bestowing. “However, … Read more

How Funerals are changing.

How funerals are changing

“The limit on the number of guests allowed at funerals is the latest COVID-19 restriction to be eased in NSW,” Jenny Noyes reported in Sydney Morning Herald  yesterday, (June 14). From July 1, indoor venues will no longer be limited to 50 patrons but for funerals, the changes will come into … Read more

Is fear of death a factor in some mental illness?

Death Anxiety - cover of InPsych, December 2018.

The article “Death anxiety – the worm at the core of mental illness” argues that death anxiety is a hidden factor in many mental illness, and that this crosses over into many disorders. The article, by Rachel E. Menzies and Associate Professor Ross G. Menzies, was published in the Australian … Read more

World figures show wide range in Covid-19 nursing home deaths.

Earlier this month, the NSW Coroner’s Court announced it will investigate the deadly outbreak of Covid-19 at Newmarch House aged care facility in Sydney’s outer western suburbs, where 19 residents died from the virus. This is good to hear. We’ll have an objective analysis, with scrupulous attention to detail, a … Read more

But it doesn’t look too serious.

Staging of pressure sores, image by

With all our attention recently focused on the big threat of Covid-19, the little things that don’t appear to be a problem could sneak up on us. A reader raised her concerns about the way her mother died and the very poor management of her mother’s pressure sores, which caused … Read more

Professor Joe and ‘the inappropriate question’.

Prof Joe deals with the inappropriate question.

We love this one. Prof Joe is so clear and gentle…and he knows how to tell a good story. For more from Prof Joe, including a range of brilliant resources, go to: For more good communication on advance planning, go to: